Walking on air (woa) is an interactive installation that allows visitors to trace their own paths in a smoke-filled environment, and experience being above the clouds.
Concept: Creating an otherworldly experience, an experimental space where the body becomes the instrument. Individual bodies are disregarded, and instead become part of the bigger picture.
Logistics: Smoke generating machine, strong light projector, video camera, all situated within a contained room (tentatively truss room)
Functionality: In woa, a smoke generator will create a foggy atmosphere in the room, and the projector will continually project a wavy line into the smoke at a height slightly above the calf. When light is projected into smoke, a smokey, surreal form independent to the initial wavy line is created. This creates the illusion of clouds forming, and walking above or on clouds. When there is movement, a motion camera tracks the movement and a light trail formed by the movement (eg walking) is immediately projected at the location where movement is detected. Where movement overlaps or take longer to move, the light trail becomes brighter. Over time, the light trail will dissipate (with the dissipating effect) and fade away, resuming the original sight
There will also be an accompanying soundtrack to the installation. When the new light trail is created, a musical note is played, extending for the entire duration of which the light trail exists. When the light trail fades, the volume of the accompanying note will also fade away, proportionate to the brightness level of the light trail. Each light trail will generate a musical note in a randomised pitch; it is hoped that the different walking styles of people would generate a pleasant harmony.
Colour for the light beam would be restricted to only white, to reduce visual distraction and to preserve an ethereal feel. Music notes would similarly adopt a
Technicalities: MaxMsp would be used for motion tracking, and also as a sound synthesiser.
Aim: For woa, I wish to achieve an ethereal feel bordering on minimalism, and going back to the basic, rudimentary elements. The visuals and surroundings are kept sparse, and available elements kept strictly little. However, I want to imbue a slight element of play, to make interaction engaging and open to all age groups. It is hoped that visitors leave the installation entranced, as though they had just visited an alternate world. At the same time, a slight element of bodily displacement would be created, with the visitor, having an extremely wide movement range but without a set moving path within this changing, unfamiliar environment.
Inspired by Anthony McCall’s You and I, Horizontal, ideally, my installation would also bring across a simple sensation using the most basic instruments.
Interaction: Walking, running in the path of the light, backtracking, circulating
1.You and I, Horizontal II (Anthony McCall)
The usage of the smoke and light beams originated from this work. However, I would like to push it further and make it more interactive with accompanying sounds.
2.On space time foam by Tomàs Saraceno
I would like woa to adopt a similar premise – immersive, playful, yet simple. Perhaps I could analyse the movements and behaviour of visitors who took part in the installation and predict how they would behave in mine.
3.El Claustro by Penique Productions
Penique productions changes the space by blowing up a balloon and wrapping all the items in the surroundings with rubber. Here, they have changed the space visually.
Production Schedule: Here
One thought on “FYP Proposal: Walking on air (working title)”
Tania I think potentially this installation could be very ethereal/poetic. You will need to set up a space where you will be able to test your concept early on to see how it works (or not) based on the materials you’ll be using and idea atmosphere/environment you’ll be setting up. The earlier you do this the better you’ll be able to plan for contingencies.